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Republican Plot to Thwart Trump

98 Days ago
| by The New Indian Express

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WASHINGTON: Donald Trump is facing a new challenge as a group of senior Republican insiders called for a "unity ticket" to defeat him in the ugly race for the party's presidential nomination.A newly formed group, Conservatives Against Trump, is urging supporters of the two other remaining candidates, Texas senator Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, to join forces.It also vowed to keep open "other avenues," indicating possible support for a third party run, a self-destructive move that would effectively hand the White House to the Democrats. The insiders, who hatched the plot over four heated hours in the stately surroundings of the Army and Navy Club in Washington, included congressmen, activists, and a former adviser to President George W Bush. They did not endorse either Mr Cruz of Mr Kasich. Instead, one of those present said: "The consensus was that we need a unity ticket. We'll let the candidates work out who the unity ticket is."There was support for a Cruz-Kasich, or Kasich-Cruz, ticket, but some worried that "egos" might make this hard to achieve.While the meeting was in progress Mr Cruz issued a statement, saying: "This is the moment for all those who believe in a strong America to come together and craft a new path forward." Mr Kasich did not issue a statement.In the race for the Republican nomination the popular vote in individual states is used to apportion delegates who attend the national convention in July. If no candidate reaches an outright majority of 1,237 delegates a contested convention results. Rounds of ballots continue until there is a winner. There is a strong possibility that Mr Trump will lead the race but fall short of 1,237 delegates.The billionaire has claimed his supporters will "riot" if he is denied the nomination at a contested convention. But a spokesman for Conservatives Against Trump said: "It took Abraham Lincoln three ballots at the Republican convention in 1860 to become the party's nominee. If it was good enough for Lincoln it's good enough for all the candidates without threats of riots."Moments after the Washington meeting broke up, Marco Rubio, who still has a significant number of delegates despite dropping out of the race last week, said: "Hopefully there's time to still prevent a Trump nomination."Mr Rubio ruled himself out of any unity ticket, saying: "I'm not going to be anybody's vice-president."Sam Clovis, co-chairman of Mr Trump's campaign, said the plot was "laughable". He said: "We have people who are elitist, who think they're part of the ruling class, telling people who have voted for Donald Trump that they're stupid. If they go down this path there will be consequences."


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